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NOT: Earth ‘n’ Sea Amazing Pizza & Pasta, 142 Oxford St Bulimba

MM and I were on the hunt for a quick and relatively cheap feed before catching a movie recently, so instead of settling at one of the fancy cafes on Oxford St, we headed to Earth ‘n’ Sea for what we anticipated would be a cheap, hearty meal that we could woof down and then be on our way.

Earth ‘n’ Sea is a bit of a Brisbane icon, with several locations around the suburbs and a super-sized pizza and pasta menu. It’s been at least five years since I visited one of their stores and whilst I don’t remember raving about that last experience, I don’t remember walking away utterly disgusted as I was on this occasion.

MM and I were catching a 6.50pm movie so arrived at Earth ‘n’ Sea at the very quiet time of 6pm. When we arrived, the restaurant was pretty much vacant, with the exception of another two couples and one small family. We waited for about 2 minutes at the entrance of the large venue while several staff made eye contact with us, but refused to acknowledge our presence as they fiddled with things behind the counter and pretended to be busy. Finally we were attended to and shown to a seat out on their patio area. The waitress took our drinks orders as we scanned over the huge menu. Unfortunately she didn’t return with our drinks for another ten minutes and when she did, we had to make a point of telling her we would like to order, as she didn’t seem too fussed to ask if we were ready.

I wasn’t in a pizza mood so went straight to the pasta section. The ricotta ravioli with herby vegetarian tomato sauce ($18) caught my attention, while MM chose the small Earth ‘n’ Sea massive meat lovers pizza ($18) with bacon, beef, ham, pepperoni, special BBQ sauce and an egg.  At this point, I was pretty disgusted with the service considering the place was pretty much empty and the fact that the dishes were eighteen bucks each was playing on my mind. However the proof is in the pudding, so I’m never too quick to judge until I’ve sampled the fare.

Time was ticking quite slowly as we awaited our meals and I noticed that a couple who arrived after us were already munching on their pizza (possibly because their waitress had taken their order in a timely manner). Sigh. Finally our meals arrived and by then we only had twenty minutes before we needed to get to the cinema. MM’s pizza was a decent size for what is classified as a small and he had trouble getting through it. The flavour wasn’t too bad and it was heaped with meat and cheese. The overall look of the pizza wasn’t appealing to me at all – but I’m a pizza snob and love these nouveau wood fired things that the fancy cafes do – so it’s not really appropriate to pass judgement.

My ricotta ravioli on the other hand was pitiful. A pile of square, flavourless pillows (freshly thawed from the freezer I suspect) drowned in bitter, tasteless tomato sauce, with no frills whatsoever, does not warrant eighteen of my hard earned dollars. This dish was straight from the frozen/cold food section at the local supermarket and failed terribly to satisfy my hunger as I pushed the red mess around the bowl. Disappointing – knowing I could go to Otello up the road and have one of the best Italian meals in Brisbane for the same price, with great service.

We wrapped things up in haste and headed inside to pay our bill. Even then they didn’t want to acknowledge our presence as we waited patiently for the ladies behind the counter to finish their private conversation before they took our money. Earth ‘n’ Sea boasts to be a family restaurant serving good quality food that is ‘not just pizza, a way of life’. Their pizzas may pass the test and are definitely big enough to feed a family – but their menu is over priced and the venue poorly managed. I’m not sure how the other stores around Brisbane are, but due to my experience at Earth ‘n’ Sea Bulimba, I won’t be in a hurry to find out.

To see what we had to say about Otello on Oxford St, visit http://www.bnehotornot.com/hot-otello-1180-oxford-st-bulimba/

Earth 'n' Sea Pizza on Urbanspoon

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  1. What a shame. It’s so disappointing when you have high expectations and they fall so flat. Sometimes the food can be somewhat forgiving if the service is brilliant, and vice versa, but when you get both bad service AND dodgy food, it’s a recipe for a deserved refund. Hope the movie made the night worthwhile :).

    Posted by My Tastebuds
    Twitter: mytastebudsAUS
    | July 23, 2010, 10:43 pm
  2. I agree about the service and I was only getting take-away! I ordered pizza and was very disappointed it was burnt and tasteless. Will try Otello.

    Posted by Todd | July 28, 2010, 12:56 pm
  3. There’s only one choice for pizza in Bulimba – the institution that is PANCHO’s!

    Best pizza for over 25 years.

    They’re located opposite the Memorial Park.

    Posted by Dan
    Twitter: limosine
    | March 9, 2011, 8:33 am
  4. Thanks for the Hot tip Dan! We’ll be sure to check it out!

    Posted by CazM | March 10, 2011, 9:13 am
  5. Sucks you got a bad one off experience here.. I call it one off because I have been going to Earth n Sea for like 20+ years and never had a bad experience so don’t let this review put you off. I wouldn’t really call it a Brisbane icon it’s more of a Byron Bay icon really, this is where the chain started. Also you have been there before so you should know its not a cheap quick meal before a movie. I would never allow less than 1 hour for going there before a movie. Standard restaurant rules apply. It’s not cheap but you get what you pay for if you want cheap pizza go to Dominos but if you want good quality go back to Earth n Sea. I cant comment on the Pastas as I have never had them. But seriously no one bothers to go Earth n Sea for the pasta.. It’s pizza or nothing

    Posted by David | February 2, 2012, 3:44 pm

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